Home » Blog » Dangers of Marijuana Maintenance in Recovery

Dangers of Marijuana Maintenance in Recovery

While many people overcome their addictions by following proper treatment, some people have very different definitions of sobriety. While most believe that sobriety entails complete abstinence from drugs and alcohol, including cigarettes and marijuana, others are more willing to bend the rules and use marijuana maintenance recovery.

Some consider themselves sober because they have stopped abusing hard drugs, but they may still drink and smoke cigarettes while in recovery. Other people go even further and smoke weed while recovering from substance abuse, which could jeopardize their other sobriety. 

What is Marijuana Maintenance Recovery?

Marijuana maintenance recovery argues that, even if a person is recovering from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, marijuana can be an exception to the drug part of the rehabilitation process. People who engage in this practice believe that they can smoke marijuana safely without it triggering other substance use or abuse and that this drug does not fall into the same category as other potentially addictive drugs. 

However, you can’t be sober when using marijuana in recovery because consuming the substance simply replaces one addiction with another. For instance, many people recovering from alcoholism have changed the start date of their sobriety because they did marijuana. So, if you decide to use marijuana while in recovery, you may be putting yourself at risk for many reasons. 

Does Sobriety Pertain to Drugs You’re Not Addicted to?

Can you consume marijuana and call yourself sober if you are recovering from alcohol addiction and have abstained from drinking for some time? Yes, some people say. The argument is that because they were not addicted to the drug, they are still sober. 

Numerous people believe that using marijuana should not preclude someone from legally participating in a support group for people recovering from alcoholism and those recovering from alcohol problems. Because most programs do not emphasize marijuana use, some members claim to be sober despite smoking the drug. On the other hand, marijuana maintenance in recovery could yield some adverse outcomes.

Is Marijuana Maintenance Dangerous in Recovery?

Marijuana can be addictive for many people. Around 30 percent of regular marijuana users have some type of marijuana use disorder, and 8.9 percent are dependent. This could be a dangerous risk to hold, especially for sober people and those looking to fill a void in their recovery. You may end up using marijuana to substitute your drug or alcohol addiction and reach an unreasonable and uncomfortable level of use. Some dangers of marijuana maintenance in recovery include:

Replacing one addiction with another

A drug is a drug; substituting one addictive substance for another does not constitute sobriety. People who use a harmful substance should not consider themselves to be sober. Staying sober entails more than simply abstaining from drugs or alcohol; it means leading a healthy and productive lifestyle. Furthermore, smoking marijuana should not be deemed a healthy activity – it is a substance that can cause addiction

Possibility of being an addiction trigger

In addition to the risk of becoming addicted to it, marijuana maintenance in recovery may end up being an addiction trigger. For people who used to use other illicit drugs, marijuana may be a potent drug trigger, resulting in intense drug cravings and, eventually, the need for a relapse recovery program. 

Smoking marijuana to escape problems

Marijuana has numbing effects; thus, many people use it to alleviate physical or psychological discomfort because the substance allows them to decompress and relax more easily. Some argue that someone in recovery who uses marijuana for psychological relief does not have the right to claim sobriety. However, many addicts turn to their drug of choice for the same reason.

Addiction recovery can be an extremely anxious and stressful time, so instead of learning how to deal with these issues healthily and productively, such as through journaling or sobriety-promoting exercises, marijuana may become a crutch on which people in recovery can become overly reliant. Marijuana can hinder a person’s recovery by masking emotions, preventing the person from coping with triggers or trauma, and feeding the brain drugs. 

Using substances that alter your consciousness state violates sobriety

Not everyone who consumes the substance becomes addicted to it. However, smoking weed can still affect the brain. For example, marijuana use can alter one’s sense of time and impair one’s memory. In addition, when taken in large amounts, it can cause hallucinations, delusions, and psychosis.

Sobriety is About Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Living sober or free of all drug and alcohol use means exactly that. When it comes to rehabilitation, there is no room for compromise. Goals are established in rehab and can include objectives such as: 

  • Not using any alcohol or substances
  • Making friends who can have fun sober
  • Attending group therapy
  • Attending inpatient rehab over weekends
  • Learning to recognize emotions and triggers
  • Participating in individual therapy

Following rehabilitation, you will establish other goals to maintain a sober lifestyle.

Addiction Recovery at Detox Nashville

While the long-term effects of medicinal marijuana have received more attention, the long-term effects of recreational marijuana remain largely unknown. However, because the substance can trigger addiction, it’s best to avoid it when recovering.
We are here at our drug and alcohol detox center in Madison, TN, to help people beat their addictions and learn how to live their lives in a way that promotes long-term sobriety. To get more information about our treatment options at Detox Nashville or start the recovery process, reach out to us today at (615) 845-4747.